Let your creativity bloom at Featherstone’s Ladies Nights

Amy Custis and Sharon Capen worked on still lifes at a recent Ladies Night at Featherstone. — Photo by Danielle Zerbonne

It’s sort of like arts and crafts for adults. And you don’t need to bring any skills or even talent to the table. That’s the idea behind Featherstone’s most recent series of classes.

Throughout the mean months of winter, the arts campus has been hosting something they call Ladies Night. On the first Monday of each month, a different artist is recruited to take a group through an easy project, easy enough that anyone can go home with an example of the art form. And, also easy enough that participants can enjoy a glass or two of wine while working on the project.

“They’re simple,” said Featherstone director Ann Smith. “You don’t need to be an artist. It’s always something you can create in an hour and a half. We’ll introduce you to a new artist’s medium and teach you something that you can replicate at home.”

In January, Amy Custis demonstrated the art of paper folding and helped a small group of women create unique Valentine’s Day cards made with dozens of strips of colorful patterned paper arranged in an origami-style heart shape. The class also fashioned simple landscape adorned cards with watercolors and ink stamps.

Last month, the project was still lifes with Nancy Blank. But, lest anyone find that prospect intimidating, it should be said that the tools for these still lifes were tissue paper and modge podge. “The whole point of the evening is showing the different techniques you can use to be creative with average household items,” Ms. Smith continued.

Next Monday, April 7, participants will create paper flowers. Not the kind you made in kindergarten with bathroom tissues however, but an array of flora created from crepe paper using a variety of techniques. The class will be led by Veronica Modini and Minor Knight, both fiber artists.

“Part of the reason we selected paper flowers is that coming up are the Art of Flowers and our annual Garden Party and Fashion Show,” Ms. Smith said, referring to two of Featherstone’s popular spring events.

“The reason we chose April,” noted Ms. Modini, “is that spring showers bring May flowers. You can have some to decorate your home. Some people use them to decorate at weddings or parties. We’ll have some options for you to be creative at low cost.”

In May, with the weather a little more accommodating, Minor Knight will forage around Featherstone to find natural items from which to create found object art. Some may remember the beautiful spray painted dried flower decorations that Ms. Knight was selling at Featherstone’s Holiday Gift Show.

Everything crafted at the Ladies Night events is suitable for gifting or decorating your home but, just as importantly, the gatherings give participants a chance to socialize, meet some of the Featherstone artists, and have fun. The students tend to help one another and there’s always a lot of laughter and inspiration. Participants are welcome to enjoy refreshments throughout the class.

So far, the Ladies Nights have proved popular, attracting more people each time. “We really wanted to do it for Vineyard residents,” Ms. Smith said. “We will restart on September 8 and do it through next winter.”

Ladies Night, Monday, April 7, 6–7:30 pm, Featherstone, Oak Bluffs. Paper flowers with Veronica Modini and Minor Knight. $20. For more information, call 508-693-1850 or visit featherstoneart.org.